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UK Parliament dissoบอลสด 28 8 2560lved ahead of July 4 election

plication potential | บอลสด 28 8 2560 | Updated: 2024-07-24 05:57:42

A British Union flag on top of the Victoria Tower, part of the Houses of Parliament in London on May 23. [Photo/CFP]

Britain's Parliament was dissolved on Thursday, formally signaling the start of campaigning for the general election.

The surprise call was made last week by Conservative Party leader and current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and will take place on July 4.

A total of 650 seats will be contested, and under a voting system known as First Past the Post, which looks at the number of individual constituencies won, rather than the overall vote share received, whichever party manages to secure a majority of those seats will form the next government.

Sunak could have waited until the end of the year before calling the election, so his decision to do so now, with his party trailing way behind the main opposition Labour Party in opinion polls, took many people by surprise.

After 14 years of Conservative rule, which has seen the country deal with Brexit, the pandemic, serious global instability and a cost of living crisis, Labour and its leader Keir Starmer are widely predicted to form the next government.

But the increasingly fragmented nature of British party politics means voters are not as divided into two factions as has often been the case in years gone by.

The Liberal Democrats, the third national force in parliamentary politics, will be hoping to increase their small parliamentary representation, as will the regionally-focused parties of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

There was one Green Party member in the last parliament, and while their chances of any significant parliamentary success are slim at best, the populist Reform UK party could play a major disruptive role, by taking votes off other parties.

The last general election was won by the Conservatives in December 2019, with then-prime minister Boris Johnson securing a large majority on a promise to "Get Brexit Done", a pledge which won the Conservatives many seats in traditional Labour heartlands.

Complex consequences

The complex consequences of Britain's exit from the European Union are still being felt, particularly in Northern Ireland, and in many cases have not yet even been addressed but despite being such a significant issue, the word has been notable by its absence from the debate in this year's poll.

Within months of Johnson's victory, the pandemic pushed all other concerns aside, but criticism of his personal conduct during it eventually contributed to his resignation, first as prime minister, and later as a member of parliament altogether.

He was replaced in Downing Street by Liz Truss, voted in by Conservative Party members, and after her short ill-feted reign, in October 2022 Sunak took over as party and national leader, without any contest, so this will be the first time voters will have a chance to pass their verdict on him.

Dominant themes in the election campaign are likely to be the National Health Service, the continuing impact of the cost of living crisis and immigration, which has, ironically, become a far bigger challenge since Britain left the EU, a move that Brexit supporters claimed would allow the country to take back control of its borders.

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